An article from RSC suggests that there may be a far larger number of REACH pre-registrations than expected:

The process of pre-registration of chemicals under Reach is now accelerating amidst concerns that the Helsinki-based European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which is responsible for running the EU scheme to regulate the production and use of chemicals, may not have enough resources to do its job properly.

The agency had problems with its IT system for pre-registration when the six-month procedure started on 1 June. Substances produced in quantities of 1 tonne or more will have to be taken off the market in the EU if they have not been pre-registered by 1 December this year.

Initially ECHA insisted the IT glitch – which prevented bulk pre-registrations – would be put right by mid-June. But the tool for submitting files of up to 500 substances was not functioning until 22 July.

By late July, 4,627 companies had made 32,191 registration covering 13,883 substances on the agency’s Reach-IT online site, according ECHA figures. ECHA has calculated that there will be around 200,000 pre-registrations, for which it has taken on 200 staff to handle. However, in the next three to four months before the pre-registration deadline expires, the pace is expected to pick up considerably so that the numbers could far exceed the agency’s own estimates.

‘We think there will be at least 500,000 and even as many as 1 million,’ says Jo Lloyd, technical director at REACHReady, the Reach service set up by the UK’s Chemical Industries Association. ‘A lot more companies than expected are preparing to pre-register.’

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